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scott123

Inverter Microwaves

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I'm in the process of shopping for a new microwave and have stumbled across inverter technology. Of the people that own these types of machines, what are your thoughts?

Experience has shown me that greater complexity usually results in a greater chance for failure/breakdown, but... the prospect of being able to slow the cooking (rather than just cycle the machine on and off) sounds appealing.

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I am a LONG-time user and proponent of microwave ovens. Our first one was a GE unit (because I worked for the company and got a discount) back in the early 70's. It was what today is called an "inverter" type machine, because it had different power levels, meaning one could cook gently or aggressively, or in-between, depending on what one was doing. It did NOT simply cycle the magnetron on & off during the cycle, which is what began being offered in the late 80's and 90's. I even bought one of those for our other house, and it is HORRIBLE for one who is used to the original controls.

Finally, my old GE unit failed and I replaced it with a high-powered Panasonic inverter unit, and it functions just like the old GE, but with many more (and unnecessary) levels of power (three is all one really needs). My only complaint is the touch pad, which I prefer less than discreet switches. The new inverter units are not more complex, with the exception of having a built-in turntable which the old ones didn't.

Ray

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I have a small microwave (Panasonic 1.2 cf) with inverter in my studio that I thought would be more versatile but I really haven't noted much difference between it and a regular m-wave except it is perhaps a tad faster at heating liquids and defrosting fruits and etc.

In my kitchen I have a large microwave/convection combo oven that is much more versatile. I've owned it for several years and wouldn't be without it, use it constantly. (made by Sharp)

I also have another large Sharp microwave at the other end of my kitchen (and on a different elec. circuit) which I like because the cooking chamber is taller than the newer ones.

It really annoys me that they are making the newer ones more compact and one can't use taller vessels - to me that's impractical.

I've also been using m-wave ovens a very, very long time. My first was an Amana Radar range purchased in 1968 when the company sent a technician to one's home to instruct how to use it. I have not been without one since...


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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This is the only discussion I can find on inverter microwaves. Are there updated opinions?

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I have an inverter microwave and to be honest, for what I do with it, the only real benefit for me is when using it for chocolate work. None of the blasts of full power broken up by periods of no power to approximate running at less power, it just runs at less power. Once you know the chocolate you're working with, you can just set X power for Y time and walk away without worrying about overheating or serious hot spots. I'd think that flexibility with the power could be beneficial for cooking but I honestly don't ever cook in the microwave so I can't help with that.

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1 hour ago, Tri2Cook said:

I have an inverter microwave and to be honest, for what I do with it, the only real benefit for me is when using it for chocolate work. None of the blasts of full power broken up by periods of no power to approximate running at less power, it just runs at less power. Once you know the chocolate you're working with, you can just set X power for Y time and walk away without worrying about overheating or serious hot spots. I'd think that flexibility with the power could be beneficial for cooking but I honestly don't ever cook in the microwave so I can't help with that.

Second this - I buy inverter microwaves to melt chocolate.

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For the past six weeks or so we've been using a Panasonic inverter; our previous units have all been non-inverter. Leftovers seem to reheat more evenly in the Panasonic, but it's a small N at this point.

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Outside of steaming veggies we don't actually cook in our large Panasonic Inverter MW. It does, however, a superior job of defrosting meat and reheating items. I don't ever want to be without an inverter MW in the future.

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As the previous posters of said they are the only way to go if you are purchasing a microwave! A doings much better job and defrosting or even cooking/steaming. Having continous  power instead of power pulsing on and off makes a huge difference. I don't understand why any microwave manufacturers make a microwave it doesn't have this feature except for maybe very inexpensive ones.

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22 hours ago, MSRadell said:

As the previous posters of said they are the only way to go if you are purchasing a microwave! A doings much better job and defrosting or even cooking/steaming. Having continous  power instead of power pulsing on and off makes a huge difference. I don't understand why any microwave manufacturers make a microwave it doesn't have this feature except for maybe very inexpensive ones.

A magnetron that will work with an inverter power supply costs more; the power supply is somewhat less reliable.  I think there are also complications with the fan that changes the resonance of the chamber (it exists to prevent hot spots).  Panasonic's patents may still be in force, which complicates other manufacturer's efforts. 

I have one, and went to some effort to get one.  I'd get another if it broke, but I'd replace it if I could find one that had a door that opened to the right...

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I don't understand why Panasonic says they invented the inverter technology. Inverter has been around for a very long time. Besides, an inverter is a device that converts DC power to AC power. The Panasonic microwave oven is powered by AC current.

 

Regular MW works similar to PWM (Paused Width Modulation) power control devices or somewhat similar to FM (frequency modulation) radio signals. .

Inverter MW works similar to AM (amplitude modulation) radio signals.

 

dcarch

 


Edited by dcarch (log)

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It's getting way too microwave scientific for me to be able to add anything else that would be helpful. It wasn't all that much more expensive than a decent regular microwave among what was available where I live and the little control freak that lives in my head liked the idea of having actual control over the power level so I went with it.

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